A Dynamic and Responsive Host in Action: Light-Controlled Molecular Encapsulation

Seán T.J. Ryan, Jesús del Barrio*, Reynier Suardíaz, Daniel F. Ryan, Edina Rosta, Oren A. Scherman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
299 Downloads (Pure)


The rational design of a flexible molecular box, oAzoBox4+, incoporating both photochromic and supramolecular recognition motifs is described. We exploit the E↔Z photoisomerization properties of azobenzenes to alter the shape of the cavity of the macrocycle upon absorption of light. Imidazolium motifs are used as hydrogen-bonding donor components, allowing for sequestration of small molecule guests in acetonitrile. Upon E→Z photoisomerization of oAzoBox4+ the guest is expelled from the macrocyclic cavity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16096-16100
Number of pages5
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number52
Early online date28 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2016


  • host–guest systems
  • hydrogen bonds
  • macrocycles
  • photochemistry
  • supramolecular chemistry


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